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Bay Burger

Kristi Kates - April 25th, 2011
Bay Burger Slides Into Summer
By Kristi Kates
Four years ago, Valentino Trabucchi of Birmingham, Michigan, decided to bring one of his local restaurant’s burger philosophies up to Petoskey.
“For over 35 years, I had been regularly frequenting the Hunter House in Birmingham,” Trabucchi explains. “They offered great little sliders (miniature burgers) with juicy sweet onions - something I couldn’t find Up North.”
Now the owner/proprietor of Petoskey’s newest “burger joint,” Bay Burger, Trabucchi is ready for a busy summer with his sliders-focused menu.

The term slider is said to have originally been coined by the fast-food burger chain White Castle, which gained popularity for their small slider burgers. Trabucchi approached his hopefully-soon-to-be-popular new restaurant with an attitude was both preplanned - and a little haphazard.
“I had my eye on our present location in the Glen’s North Plaza shopping center for about a year before I did a belly-flop and fell into the restaurant business by purchasing the complete equipment inventory of a local deli that had folded up,” Trabucchi explains. “That equipment purchase propelled me into this endeavor in April 2010. Not exactly the proper procedure,” he laughs, “but that’s how it began. Because there was a traffic light at the shopping center, and a lot of local traffic, I knew the location would be convenient to all.”

So what do all the people choose from Bay Burger’s classic, ‘50s-reminiscent menu?
“Hands down, people order the double cheeseburger with carmelized onions and pickles,” Trabucchi says, “with french fries and a soda.”
It’s classic fare prepared right, according to Trabucchi’s approach.
“What makes our burgers different is the slider size, I think,” he says. “They simply melt in your mouth - no big, burly half-pounders as big as your head here. Just the right size, and always cooked well. And this doesn’t make them at all dry, as the onions make them all juicy and sweet.”
Other than the restaurant’s signature sliders, popular menu picks include their specialty sandwiches.
“Those are prepared fresh daily, and include Cajun Chicken, Pulled Pork, Egg Salad, B.L.T.s, and our Three-Decker Turkey Club,” he says.
And while they’re served year-round, Bay Burger’s hand-dipped Breyer’s ice crème milkshakes and malts are sure to be big hits this summer.
“Along with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, we offer Oreo and Butterfinger malts and shakes,” he says.

One important thing Trabucchi wants to point out is that while Bay Burger may seem reminiscent of the aforementioned White Castle or other “burger joints,” they’re definitely not in the same category.
“Chery and I have one goal, and that is to deliver great food, along with the best possible service,” he says. “This means being able to serve the food fast - but we are a Quick Service Restaurant, not a fast-food restaurant. We’re prepared to accommodate large amounts of summer traffic by keeping the menu short and sweet, and having two point-of-sale systems to get the orders to the kitchen quick. Being that the burgers prepare quickly, people can get back to enjoying the beautiful Northern Michigan summer.”
They can play a game of pool or race Nascar in Bay Burger’s arcade area, too, he points out.
“The most rewarding element to having this restaurant is getting to know new people,” he says, “and it sure helps when they tell us ‘we’ll be back’ on their way out, without solicitation. That is flattering and fulfilling and what makes it fun day after day.”

Bay Burger is located on US-31 in the Glen’s North Plaza in Petoskey, next to the Secretary of State office, telephone 231-487-1170. Their current hours are Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; summer months they’ll be staying open until 10:00 p.m.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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